SENATE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The Senate Committee on Economic Development recently released its interim report in which it considered four interim charges.  The report’s city-related recommendations are as follows:

  • Implement a system to track all incentives given to a company by an economic development corporation, a city, a county, and/or a state.  In order to gain a clear picture of all the incentives a company is receiving, a total summary of tax incentives is necessary.  A summary of a company’s tax incentives from each level of government will help ensure that one company is not over-incentivized. 
  • Synchronize the state Emerging Technology Fund’s current reporting requirements for a grant recipient by requiring a fiscal total, intended outcomes, and complete outcomes for all fiscal years. 
  • Implement a timeline for approval or denial of Emerging Technology Fund and Texas Enterprise Fund applications.  A deadline for approval is necessary in order to keep Texas competitive.  A sufficient deadline will give applicant businesses notice of when they can expect a decision, and therefore they will wait for an application decision from Texas before immediately accepting a grant in another state. 
  • Assess possibilities for the implementation of an independent review panel for the Emerging Technology Fund and the Texas Enterprise fund applications.  The appointees should be independent from the Offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Speaker of the House.  The purpose of an independent third-party panel would be to develop an outside opinion of whether the leadership should give a grant based on the due diligence completed by the Office of the Governor’s Economic Development staff on applications. 

The full text of the report is available online at
http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c525/c525.InterimReport81.pdf.

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